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Artichoke – designers and makers of fine handmade kitchens and joinery-led interiors – is delighted to announce that it has launched its second year of the Artichoke School of Furniture.

The School of Furniture started on October 6, running for six weeks. The school aims to train the next generation of skilled craftsmen and women, instilling a passion for English design, craftsmanship, and traditional joinery that will be admired for decades to come.

Shortly after its start date, Artichoke’s School of Furniture was featured on a news report by ITV News West Country. Course tutor Wilma Wyatt, Kings of Wessex Academy’s Thao Kemp, Artichoke’s director Andrew Petherick, and several students were interviewed discussing the benefits of the school.

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Artichoke school 

The number of students studying design and technology is in a 20-year decline, and while programmes such as Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker has helped highlight the arts and crafts industry, initiatives such as Artichoke’s School of Furniture are sorely needed to ensure these unique skills are not lost. 

Artichoke, which is based in Cheddar, Somersetstarted its School of Furniture in 2019 as a series of free evening classes for Somerset teenagers aged 16 and 17-years.

The evening classes aimed to encourage youngsters with a curiosity about craft, teaching them the fundamentals of working with hand tools while introducing the concept of architectural joinery and bespoke kitchen design, an area which Artichoke has become synonymous with. The course goal was to complete a wooden puzzle, which, under the tutelage of Artichoke’s experts, the students were able to successfully complete.

For those that showed a passion, Artichoke offered support to help them progress, be it through an apprenticeship or by applying for a scholarship through initiatives such as the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.

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Artichoke school of joinery tools

As a result of Artichoke’s 2019 School of Furniture one student is now exploring a career in furniture making, helping to keep this traditional craft alive.  

“We are delighted to be launching our second year of the Artichoke School of Furniture,” said Andrew Petherick. “Our School of Furniture is designed to train the next generation of craftspeople, lighting the first spark of enthusiasm for exquisite period interiors and bespoke architectural joinery that improves the experience of living in a period building.

“It takes a significant amount of skill and expertise to create bespoke interiors befitting some of England’s finest period homes” Andrew added. “Our School of Furniture aligns with our company vision to ensure that English design and craftsmanship continues to flourish. We look forward to welcoming our next School of Furniture students and inspiring them and others in years to come.”